Two published surveys suggest that Louisville, Kentucky, is to be avoided at all costs if one wants to stay young and fit.
RealAge.com recently made available the results of their survey ranking America’s largest 50 metropolitan areas as Cities for Staying Young and Cities for Aging Too Fast.
RealAge.com factored in such criteria as cholesterol, smoking, marital status, eating habits, stress, employment, social life and alcohol, and ranked Louisville as second only to Knoxville as the top American city for Aging too Fast.
So, like, are Kentucky and Tennessee in some sort of perverse death match to see which can play host to more funerals?
(San Francisco finished first on the list of Cities for Staying Young, which surprised me since I consider it a haven for aging hippies, Jerry Brown and the anti-Christ himself, Barry Bonds).
In a similar, but unrelated survey, good ol' Louisville (with ol' being the operative word in this case), Prevention Magazine said the home of the Cardinal had one of the highest rates of heart disease in the country. And, here's why:
Louisville contains more McDonald's outposts per capita (39) than any city in the country. It also features 20 Arby's, 17 Dairy Queen outlets and 19 Papa John's, according to a Daily Beast/Newsweek report.
And, as many of us already know, Louisville also plays home base for the original obese plantation owner, Colonel Sanders himself. Louisville is home to the Papa John’s franchise, as well as Yum Brands… which isn't just KFC but also Taco Bell and Pizza Hut. In other words, it's ground zero for fatty, disgusting, artery-clogging food.
All that said, I think city fathers should embrace their unique status. Why fight an irresistible force? Americans are losing their battle against obesity and Louisville is leading the Rebel forces. One might even liken the city to the Robert E. Lee or Stonewall Jackson of diabetes, heart disease, stroke and every other malady associated with a sedentary lifestyle and fast food diet.
I don't think Louisville has an image and reputation problem at all. What I see is an opportunity for such things as:
– Hosting the TV series 'America's Biggest Loser'
– Creating a catfish, ribs and grits competition that would pre-empt Nathan Hot Dogs oh-so-nasty Labor Day eating contest
– Adding up all of Louisville's citizens' combined weight and, instead of listing population figures on signs as one enters and leaves the metropolis, proudly proclaim instead: “Louisville, established 1791. 33 trillion pounds, and growing.”
And the city's advertising tagline? 'Louisville: everyone's last stop.'